Whether you’re a music nerd or a helpless podcast junkie, owning a solid pair of headphones is essential. Most of us have spent our lives digesting mediums through those little white earpieces and since it is 2015, you deserve the right to find a suitable upgrade and subsequently throw a trident at every Apple apologist you know. Choosing the right pair of headphones can be tough, so to help we’ve put together a list of this year’s best gets — from everyday earbuds to cans that mess around with stereophonic sound.
SENNHEISER MOMENTUM 2.0
Sennheiser have been devising ways to Trojan Horse the Beats Solo for years now and this pair has the cojones to do it. The MOMENTUM 2.0 is a new-gen upgrade that unifies detail and comfort, and their on-ear and over-ear models will force you to revisit every single album you own. Their designs might be a little too HomeSense but they’re built for those 10-hour plus work sessions.
SENNHEISER MOMENTUM IN-EAR
The MOMENTUM In-Ear ($99.95) is a cheaper alternative if you’re all about earbuds but it’s one that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality. In fact, it’s pretty on par with Sennheiser’s larger headsets as its acoustic components are made with high-quality stainless steel, not plastic, and the tips are equipped with an adjustable angle of 15° which allows it to adapt to your ears when you’re on the go.
GRADO LABS GH1
The GH1 is Grado’s first Heritage Series design and to be honest, it’s hard not to call it a classic. The open-back headset derives from a maple tree in Sunset Park and like the SR80e and SR325e, it’s big on sound — offering animated yet refined tones in albums that fall under “alternative”. They’re a bit pricey but they are relics that are carefully constructed in a small DIY shop in Brooklyn, NY.
Skullcandy has become synonymous with sk8er boys and teenagers that like to yell, but then there’s the Grind ($69.99). The on-ear set is “a premium headphone without the premium price tag” and its low profile look is flattered by muscular bass sounds that know their limits. They’re also padded to the core which is why they’re an obvious pick for physical activities and outdoor adventures.
Tweedz are basically the offspring of an indie folk artist and an expat-turned-nomad, and from a visual standpoint, their aesthetic is ahead of the curve. The earbuds are made with 100% nylon material and while they enforce a tangle-free lifestyle, they mimic the patterns of vintage guitar cables, making them a solid gift for the friend that still lights incense and listens to Father John Misty.
URBANEARS PLATTAN ADV
Urbanears are an OG brand nowadays but they’re stocked up on enough shades and pastels to keep any Hypebeast follower in check. Especially with the new Plattan ADV Wireless ($124.99), a cordless model that ditches buttons for gestures — allowing you to tap and swipe on the ear cup to press play, take calls, and even adjust the volume. Sidebar: A single charge gets you up to 14 hours of music/movies/bliss.